Fodder for thought . . .
Horace Engdahl seems to think so.
In comments to Le Croix, Horace Engdahl (of the Swedish Academy responsible for the Nobel Prize) criticized the “professionalization” of writing through financial support from foundations and educational institutions that allow writers to leave their “day jobs” to devote more time to writing. Noting that it’s particularly a problem for the “western side” of the world, he said:
Even though I understand the temptation, I think it cuts writers off from society, and creates an unhealthy link with institutions… Previously, writers would work as taxi drivers, clerks, secretaries and waiters to make a living. Samuel Beckett and many others lived like this. It was hard – but they fed themselves, from a literary perspective.
If we set aside Engdahl’s hypocrisy — he’s a literary academic linked with an institution — there’s a kernel of truth in his words: experience matters. Real-life experiences inform…
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